The UK Driving Test Walkthrough

The Driving Test Walkthrough, Chapter 1

The Driving Test Walkthrough

Pass your driving test first time with the official Driving Test Walkthrough from Low Price Lessons. From the Show Me Tell Me section to the Emergency Stop including what you need to take with you, what to expect on the day and everything you could want to know about the eyesight test, we will walk you through each part of the driving test so you’ll know exactly what the examiner is looking for.

The Driving Test Walkthrough is based on the official document called Guidance for Driving Examiners Carrying out the Driving Test (the DT1). The DT1 tells driving examiners how to assess you and what to look for.

This Driving Test Walkthrough will be your secret weapon in the test, having read it will give you a bucket load more confidence and many of your questions about the test will be answered before you ever sit one, such as, What is a Driving Fault and What Happens if I stall when doing an Emergency Stop?

For your convenience the driving test walkthrough guide has been split into chapters – much shorter, easier to read and more memorable than the sections in the DT1 but with all the information you need. Combined with experiences from others who’ve sat the test, informed by driving instructors and we even speak to a driving examiner about how he assesses faults.

The first chapter starts the driving test walkthrough by covering what you’ll need to take with you for the test, what happens when you meet the examiner and lots of detail on the eyesight test.

Driving Test Walkthrough Chapter 1

The Day Of The Driving Test

The Driving Test is Today! Wake up prepared!

The Test Is Today!

You wake up in the morning and at some point during the day you will be sitting your driving test. It’s important at this point to remember that you know everything you need to know already and to stay relaxed. If you’re under the weather and taking medication then ensure that none of the medicine you’ve been taking could mean you’re not allowed to drive.

At the Driving Test Centre

Meeting the Driving Examiner

The Test Starts Here

Your driving test starts from the moment you meet the examiner. He or she will come and meet you in the waiting area and generally speaking they’re nice and friendly people who will probably put you at ease somewhat.

They’ll have with them a form called the DL25, it’s the form they use to mark your driving faults. It should already have your name on it and things like that so its not like you have to spend ten minutes filling in forms – in fact – the whole process of meeting the examiner and going out to the vehicle is quick and easy.

At the Driving Test Centre

The Driving Test Centre

You just read and sign the insurance and residency section of the DL25 and you’re done. They’ll check the signature on the form against your licence. At 17 years old signatures can be different from one day to the next so try and get it right, if you sign your full name on one do the same on the other*.

*Top-tip from the driving test walkthrough

The examiner will have other documents with them, these will include items like visual aids to help with giving directions for the independent driving section. Everything they have with them is to help you get your pass.

The DL25 Form

The Famous DL25 Form

“Test candidates must satisfy the examiner as to their ability to carry out properly the activities and perform competently, without danger to and with due consideration for other road users”

This is the easy part! Now on to the meaty stuff of the driving test walkthrough.

If you look very ill, drunk, stoned etc then you’ll cause yourself some problems before you’ve even been introduced. Just remember to be polite and have your documentation with you.
You can also get this driving test walkthrough as an ebook to read on your tablet or mobile device.

What to take with you on the driving test in the UK

You need some documents, namely your driving licence, paper counterpart (til June 2015) and your insurance.

Driving Test Walkthrough – What do I need to take with me?

Your plastic licence and the paper counterpart. From June 2015 the paper counterpart is no longer required, your Theory Test Pass Certificate and if insurance documents (if you are not in your instructor’s car).

What to take on the UK Driving Test

No need to pack a suitcase!

The test centre can supply L-Plates and secondary mirrors (for passenger side wing mirror)*.

*Top-tip from the driving test walkthrough

What if my issue number is different on my driving licence and counterpart?

That’s ok, these can be different.

What if my picture has expired?

What if I look Different?

I gots a beard now!

If you still look the same you should be ok, however, you’ll be told that you need to get it updated. If you don’t look the same then you’ll probably not be allowed to sit the test.

What if I no longer look like my photo?

You should take additional photo ID with you, such as your passport, to help the examiner*. Over the last few years the Government has become more strict regarding how closely you resemble your licence photo in order to cut down on the amount of frauds. If you have any concerns about how you look, say your hair has been dyed and cut since the picture, then taking additional id is the best policy.

*Top-tip from the driving test walkthrough!

Can I take photocopies?

Xeroxophoic Test Centres

Can I take photocopies?

No – you need the originals.


Can I use a family member or friends car during the test?

Yes – just make sure you take the insurance documentation with you. This will be checked by the examiner.

Do I need to take my Theory Test Pass Certificate with me?

Yes, the examiner may ask to see this and you are required to show it if asked.

What is the Pre-Brief?

On the way from the test centre to the car the examiner will give you a run through of what you’ll be doing in the test.

What is the prebreif

Finding your feet now.

If you have any questions then ask them and listen to what they have to say about the test. It’s also a good way of getting used to hearing the examiner’s voice and accent, which helps when you’re concentrating on driving later.

You’ll be told that the test will last for around 50 minutes, you’ll have your eyesight tested, do two “Show Me Tell Me” or “Vehicle Safety Check” questions, drive independently for around fifteen minutes and be asked to perform two manoeuvres.

The eyesight section of the Driving Test

The eyesight section of the Driving Test made clear. It’s as much a case of common sense as your seeing sense.

Driving Test Walkthrough – The Eyesight Test


The examiner will assess your eyesight – which is the same as how your instructor will have tested your eyesight on your first driving lesson. The test is basically this – can you read number plates when they are 20 meters away?  Most people will be able to demonstrate this easily and the examiner will probably choose a vehicle which is parked nearby the test centre. They could perform the test on the way to the car or when you’re in the car but normally it doesn’t matter where so long as you can pass. This is an easy win and a good way to feel like you’ve got the ball rolling.


The examiner will choose a car which is obviously more than 20 meters away, so don’t be surprised if in your estimation the distance is more like 30 meters*.

*Another top-tip from the driving test walkthrough.

What if I get it wrong?

Don’t worry, you get another shot. The examiner will allow you to walk a little bit closer if necessary to see at what distance you were able to read it. If you make a mistake then you’ll get a third chance. Very easy, right? If you fail the third time then the examiner will get a measuring tape out and check the distance.

What if I have glasses?

That’s fine, the test is the same. If you wear glasses for the eyesight test but take them off when driving the examiner will probably notice this and point it out to you. What happens is that the examiner will probably ask you to drive with the glasses on if you needed them to read the number plate – because the law states that you need to be able to read the number plate when driving – however – if you prefer to drive without wearing glasses and are able to read the plate from 20 meters then feel free to choose to do so.

What if I have glasses?

Your Specs are up to Spec

If you can read the plate without glasses then choose to drive with glasses that is fine – your examiner may then ask you to read a plate with the glasses on, but by this stage you have demonstrated your ability to read with or without glasses and the choice is yours about how you feel more comfortable behind the wheel.

What if I have dyslexia?

That is not uncommon and examiners are able to determine your eyesight ability regardless. They may ask you to read a black – on – yellow number plate as that is sometimes easier to read for people with dyslexia. If you prefer to write down the numbers and letters instead of reading them out that is up to you and perfectly acceptable.

What if I mix up letters and numbers, like o and 0 or R and B?

The examiner is conducting the eye test because it is a legal requirement – however – they are also going to use a large degree of common sense. Things like a mixed up letter, a nervous stammer or any other ‘human error’ is not the sort of thing that will end up with a fail. Afterall, you have three attempts if you need them and the examiner will probably assess you as passed if you make a simple mistake. The thing to concentrate on if you do make a mistake like that is just trying to relax and get rid of your nerves.

What about if the daylight is poor?

The test has to be taken – the lighting is supposed to be “good daylight”.

What if visibility is poor?

Is the daylight ‘good’?

If you happen to be taking the driving test in poor lighting conditions you can still pass the eyesight test. If you fail the eyesight test and the lighting is poor then the test will be ‘terminated’ but you won’t fail.

So you should attempt it and be allowed to try even if the conditions are not right and likewise if the conditions are very poor you may fail the eyesight test but be allowed to rearrange your test date.

What happens if I fail?

If the lighting conditions are ‘good daylight’ then you’ll also fail the test and that means that you’ll have to pay to take another*.

Top-tip from the driving test walkthrough – don’t throw in the towel! Try and read the number plates even if it seems dark to you as the examiner has experience of what lighting conditions are adequate for the test.

What if I forget my glasses or they have broken?

Then you will be allowed to choose to take the test – and if you fail in good daylight then its like anyone else failing. If you can not take the test because you forgot your spectacles then you’ll also fail the driving test.

Are bioptic (telescope) spectacles allowed?

No – in the UK these glasses are not considered safe and you can not wear them.

That’s it for part one of the driving test walkthrough. You have arrived at the test centre, met the examiner, signed your form, shown your documents and performed an eyesight test. Now you are ready for driving test walkthrough chapter 2. Read on for an update on where you are and what is coming next.

The examiner at this point has assessed your eligibility for the test, if you are the person in the photo of the licence, if your vehicle is insured and whether or not you can read a number plate from 20 meters.

The pre-brief has happened and you are familiar with the way the examiner speaks, their accent and demeanour. If you’ve passed everything up to this point then well done – if you’ve failed along the way the examiner will have informed you and told you why. That marks the end of Chapter 1 of the Driving Test Walkthrough.

In Chapter 2 of the Driving Test Walkthrough we will look at the Show Me Tell Me (Vehicle Safety Check) questions and the start of the test.

The Driving Test Walkthrough is also available as an ebook.

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